A government solicitor who played a key role at the inquest into the deaths of four people in the 2007 Sydney Harbour ferry disaster has been highly commended in a prestigious Law Society of NSW award.
Emma Sullivan was highly commended in the Law Society's Excellence Award in Government Legal Service for her investigative work, assisting the deputy state coroner, at the inquest into the collision between the Sydney Ferry Pam Burridge and private vessel The Merinda.
The Award was announced at the Government Solicitor's Conference in Sydney on Wednesday (1 September).
Mary Macken, president of the Law Society of NSW, said Sullivan had been highly commended because of the thoroughness of her preparations, her professionalism, and her management of witnesses and the logistics of the inquest.
Sullivan also won praise for her handling of the more personal side of the matter.
"Emma's courtesy and thoughtfulness towards the families of those killed onboard the Merinda and to others who had been badly affected by the tragedy won her universal praise from people who participated in or observed the inquest," said Macken.
The winner of the Excellence Award in Government Legal Service was the management team of Law Access, which was praised for its outstanding work assisting more than 18,000 people access justice across NSW each year.
"Law Access is part of the Department of Justice and Attorney General and provides telephone legal advice to people in need in NSW. It filled a gap in legal services to unrepresented litigants unable to afford a lawyer," said Macken.